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Apr 22, 2020 06:43PM
Apr 24, 2020 01:16PM
It's been three years now since I've cold capped. I look back on this thread every once in a while and thought I'd add my story here in the event that it may help someone. I used the Dignicap cold cap and I traveled to the only place in my state (2.5 hours away) that had one in order to use it. I learned a few things along the way. Keep in mind that everyone is different. What follows is just my experience.
1) Cap fit is essential. If your head doesn't fit the cap just right, you will loose hair in that area. It is also important that the team you are working with is experienced enough to understand this. There are ways they can modify the cap (stuffing things in to make it press down and/or making sure it's really tight) to help. I lost the majority of my hair at the top of my head and all around the nape of my neck and behind my ears where the cap either didn't reach or wasn't snug enough. I cold capped next to a woman that didn't loose a single hair on her head while I looked like one of the three stooges.
2) Don't give up. When that first shed happened I was in the shower and I lost a lot of hair. I hadn't combed my hair (i recommend combing before wetting) and so it got all tangled up. I was crying and rummaging through the drawer for scissors. Be gentle on your hair with only gentle shampoos and very infrequent washing. Plan on shedding.
3) Get creative. I lost nearly everything on top of my head but I kept my bangs and some length in my hair. That allowed me to use a clip on hair piece instead of a full wig. It covered the crown of my head. I was also able to pull my bangs back with a little clip and you could tell it was "my hair" so people didn't even think twice when they looked at me. I made it through four rounds of chemo with people never really knowing anything except that I had stringy hair.
4) Cold doesn't begin to cover it. Ladies, it's frigid. But, it only lasts for about 20 minutes and then you are numb. You CAN do this. Any man you know CANNOT do this, but you can. As your hair gets thinner (if it does) this gets more painful but it doesn't last the entire time.
5) I would do it again. In the end I lost about 60% of my hair. I ended up with a long, stringy, gray rooted mess BUT I had my own hair and I was able to work it well enough that it wasn't obvious. I started out with very thick, long hair and in the end had a pile of mess on my head but I truly believe it was the best thing for me. Not only did it make me feel good that I wasn't totally bald (not a big deal to some people but it sure was to me) but I'm here to tell you that cold cap did something to my hair follicles. I have the absolute longest, thickest,healthiest hair now than I've ever had in my life. My hairdresser is so mad. Every time I go in she mumbles, "only woman I've ever met that ended up with more hair after breast cancer than she had before." hahahahaha. My last cold cap was 4/28/2017 and now my hair is well down past my bra strap in the back. I tell everyone to get used to it because I have no plans to cut it.
I hope this helps. Feel free to PM me with any questions.
12/30/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
1/23/2017 Lumpectomy: Right
2/17/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)